It doesn't get more family friendly than a minivan, but not all of these family haulers are created equal. The 2014 Toyota Sienna can seat up to eight, but our test van had second-row captain's chairs that reduced seating capacity to seven. The Sienna earned a mix of grades in our latest Car Seat Check.
How many car seats fit in the second row? Two
How many car seats fit in the third row? Two
What We Like
- The Sienna has three sets of lower Latch anchors. There's a set in each captain's chair and the third pair is in the third row. The third-row anchors are easy to use despite being set deeply between the seat cushions. The second-row anchors were harder to use with our convertible seat's rigid connectors. Thankfully, the rear-facing infant seat's hooklike connectors worked well in the second row's anchors.
- The rear-facing convertible fit well in the second row, thanks to the sliding captain's chairs, but connecting to the Latch anchors was somewhat difficult.
- The booster seat fit well in both the second and third rows, and most of the seat belt buckles have stable bases, though two of three buckles are floppy in the third row.
- Because it's a minivan, the step-in height is low and easily manageable for young kids. Getting to the third row is easy thanks to the captain's chairs.
What We Don't
- The positioning of the third row's Latch anchors is frustrating. The bench seat is split 60/40, and the anchors are found in the middle of the larger part of the seat. When a convertible car seat is installed in the third row with Latch anchors, it takes up two seating positions - reducing a three-seat bench to a two-position one.
- In the second and third rows, the tether anchors are covered by an upholstered flap, making the tethers difficult to find. Because of this, we downgraded the forward-facing convertible's score for the second row to a B and a C for the third row.
A: Plenty of room for the car seat and the child; doesn't impact driver or front-passenger legroom. Easy to find and connect to Latch and tether anchors. No fit issues involving head restraint or seat contouring. Easy access to the third row.
B: Plenty of room. One fit or connection issue. Some problems accessing third row when available.
C: Marginal room. Two fit or connection issues. Difficult to access third row when available.
D: Insufficient room. Two or more fit or connection issues.
F: Does not fit or is unsafe.
About Cars.com's Car Seat Checks
Editors Jennifer Geiger and Jennifer Newman are certified child safety seat installation technicians.
For the Car Seat Check, we use a Graco SnugRide 30 infant-safety seat, a Britax Roundabout convertible seat and Graco TurboBooster seat. The front seats are adjusted for a 6-foot driver and a 5-foot-8 passenger. The three child seats are installed in the second row. The booster seat sits behind the driver's seat, and the infant and convertible seats are installed behind the front passenger seat.
We also install the forward-facing convertible in the second row's middle seat with the booster and infant seat in the outboard seats to see if three car seats will fit; a child sitting in the booster seat must be able to reach the seat belt buckle. If there's a third row, we install the booster seat and a forward-facing convertible. To learn more about how we conduct our Car Seat Checks, go here.
Parents should also remember that they can use the Latch system or a seat belt to install a car seat, and that Latch anchors have a weight limit of 65 pounds, including the weight of the child and the weight of the seat itself.